Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez is the type of player who isn’t bothered by media speculation and insists the striker is happy and focused ahead of his first game of the new Premier League season.
Having recovered from an abdominal strain, the Chile international is set to be included in Arsenal’s squad for Sunday’s trip to Anfield and will then travel to his homeland for World Cup qualification duty. By the time he returns to the UK, the transfer window will be shut and the boss made clear he expects his star man to still be an Arsenal player.
“He works very hard, he’s very focused,” said Wenger on Thursday morning.
“He gives absolutely everything, he loves so much to play that we cannot stop him. He looks ready, he’s not played for a long time so I will have to decide what I do with him but he’s ready to play.
“We have to make that decision [whether to start him], it’s Thursday today and we play on Sunday. Overall, he looks in good shape, he’s worked very hard.”
He added: “He has always been focused on his job. He loves to play football and I don’t think he’s too much disturbed by all the noises. Players at that level are used to it now, some deal with it better than others. He’s one of them who is not too much bothered by that.
“He’s very focused, he’s very happy. The fact I told you he goes into the last year of his contract doesn’t mean that we have no chance to extend it. At the moment we haven’t managed to do it, I agree. We will just focus as a team and not look too much at the individual conditions of the contracts of everybody. What is important is what we want to achieve together.”
Despite hinting that he’s not given up hope of Alexis signing a new deal at the Emirates, the boss stopped short of saying he was optimistic about an extension.